Recent extreme weather conditions have impacted farmers and ranchers in Kansas. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has disaster assistance programs available to help agricultural producers recover after natural disasters, including floods and tornadoes.

USDA’s Farm Service Agency, Natural Resources Conservation Service and Risk Management Agency offer programs that help producers recover losses, rehabilitating farms and ranches, and managing risk.

Recovering losses

FSA offers many programs to help producers recover from losses, including the Livestock Indemnity Program, the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees, and Farm-Raised Fish Program, Emergency Forest Restoration Program and the Tree Assistance Program. Producers located in counties receiving a primary or contiguous disaster designation are eligible for low-interest emergency loans to help them recover from production and physical losses.

“Our hearts and prayers go out to everyone who has suffered loss from the flood devastation. FSA is always here to support our farmers and ranchers through these times of adversity,” said David Schemm, State Executive Director for the FSA in Kansas. “Once the waters have receded and you are able to evaluate your losses, contact your local FSA office to report all damages and losses and learn more about how we can assist.”

Rehabilitating farms and ranches

NRCS provides technical and financial assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and other conservation programs to help producers recover and build resilience to better weather future disasters.

“NRCS can be a very valuable partner to help landowners with their recovery effort,” said Karen Woodrich, State Conservationist for the NRCS in Kansas. “Our staff will work one-on-one with landowners to make assessments of the damages and develop approaches that focus on effective recovery of the land.”

Woodrich encourages producers to consult with their local NRCS planner to evaluate options for conservation practices reestablishment or plan development as waters recede. Both vegetative and structural practices may be of value during recovery efforts and into the future.

Meanwhile, the FSA Emergency Conservation Program provides funding and technical assistance for farmers and ranchers to rehabilitate farmland damaged by natural disasters.

Managing risk

Producers with coverage through federal crop insurance should contact their agent for issues regarding filing claims. Those who purchased crop insurance will be paid for covered losses.

RMA Regional Director Collin Olsen said, “If you are concerned that you may not be able to get your crop planted, you should contact your crop insurance agent. The agent can provide details on your prevented planting coverage and how and when to file a claim. The Approved Insurance Providers, loss adjusters and agents are experienced and well-trained in handling these types of events.”

Compensation also is available to producers who purchased coverage through FSA’s Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program, which protects non-insurable crops against natural disasters that result in lower yields, crop losses or prevented planting. Eligible producers must have purchased NAP coverage for 2019 crops.

Supporting communities

In addition to helping producers, USDA also offers local governments and other entities with rebuilding infrastructure and removing debris. The NRCS Emergency Watershed Protection program provides assistance to local government sponsors with the cost of addressing watershed impairments or hazards like debris removal and streambank stabilization. Interested entities should contact their local NRCS conservationist.

More information

USDA offers a disaster assistance discovery tool that walks producers through five questions to help them identify personalized results of what USDA disaster assistance programs meet their needs. For more information on disaster assistance programs, contact your local USDA service center or farmers.gov/recover.

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